The Association of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) has laid out specific and enforceable rules that govern all professional engineers and architects in Costa Rica. These rules apply when a client hires one of these professionals to provide advisory services, or technical and empirical expertise to solve problems relating to their respective disciplines. This can also refer to planning, development, evaluation, and implementation of engineering and/or architecture projects.
There is a high degree of responsibility in this type of consulting work as the hired professional, engineer or architect, must respond directly and personally on all aspects of their work on the project. Together the client and the professional must clearly define the purpose and scope of the work required. Any professional must therefore provide their services within the guidelines and rules set out by their profession.
Consulting services are diverse, and are also classified according to their specific scope. For example, the work can range from the simple solution on a specific consultation, through the preparation of any studies needed, to the direction or supervision of one or more stages of a project. In the latter case, these services can range from the preparation of the draft, designs and drawings, to the management, inspection, and control of these for final delivery to the client.
The most popular consulting service is called “Managing Work”, in which the consultant is involved throughout the implementation phase of the project to ensure it is in accordance with the plans and specifications. Keeping the best interests of the client in mind, the professional must work with the best quality and efficiency, planning and organizing work, up to and including inspection of the project.
There are several forms of payment or remuneration for services provided by these professionals, and these should all be agreed upon beforehand in a detailed contract. These remunerations should always fall within the guidelines for each respective tariff that has been approved by the CFIA. This can include services contracted by lump sum or flat-rate amount. Or there is also a reimbursement contract that shows fixed costs plus the professional’s fees, which gives the client a greater degree of predictability on the project.
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